Bats – Their Future in Our Hands

BATS – Out and Aboutambience: batsLook up in the sky at twilight on a summer night in the country, and you’re likely to see bats. Some cultures regard them as symbols of good luck, while others see them as messengers of the devil. Well, today we’ll shine a little light on these misunderstood creatures of the dark. I’m Jim Metzner, and this is the Pulse of the Planet.We’re listening to the sounds of high frequency bat echolocation signals, translated electronically into the range of human hearing.Tuttle: Worldwide, almost 1000 kinds of bats comprise nearly a quarter of all mammal species. They’re found everywhere but in the most extreme desert and polar regions, and they’re extremely important.Dr. Merlin Tuttle is the founder of Bat Conservation International.Tuttle: Today, the vast majority of what most people think they know about bats is wrong. For example: there isn’t a blind species of bat in the world. You couldn’t tangle a bat in your hair if you tried. They’re certainly not mostly rabid attackers of people. If you just leave bats alone, don’t try to handle them, the odds of being harmed by a bat are minisculey small, yet the advantages of having them around are very substantial.Bats eat huge amounts of troublesome mosquitoes, and they also pollinate tropical plants. Yet, the bat population is declining, due in part to the actions of humans.Tuttle: The future of bats pretty much rests in our hands. Many can be saved, and certainly must be saved if we’re going to live in a healthy environment. As with all species on earth, some are going to be lost despite our best efforts. But it’s not too late to make a very big difference.I’m Jim Metzner, and this is the Pulse of the Planet.

Bats - Their Future in Our Hands

Exploding a few myths about these creatures of the night.
Air Date:06/06/2018
Scientist:
Transcript:

BATS - Out and Aboutambience: batsLook up in the sky at twilight on a summer night in the country, and you're likely to see bats. Some cultures regard them as symbols of good luck, while others see them as messengers of the devil. Well, today we'll shine a little light on these misunderstood creatures of the dark. I'm Jim Metzner, and this is the Pulse of the Planet.We're listening to the sounds of high frequency bat echolocation signals, translated electronically into the range of human hearing.Tuttle: Worldwide, almost 1000 kinds of bats comprise nearly a quarter of all mammal species. They're found everywhere but in the most extreme desert and polar regions, and they're extremely important.Dr. Merlin Tuttle is the founder of Bat Conservation International.Tuttle: Today, the vast majority of what most people think they know about bats is wrong. For example: there isn't a blind species of bat in the world. You couldn't tangle a bat in your hair if you tried. They're certainly not mostly rabid attackers of people. If you just leave bats alone, don't try to handle them, the odds of being harmed by a bat are minisculey small, yet the advantages of having them around are very substantial.Bats eat huge amounts of troublesome mosquitoes, and they also pollinate tropical plants. Yet, the bat population is declining, due in part to the actions of humans.Tuttle: The future of bats pretty much rests in our hands. Many can be saved, and certainly must be saved if we're going to live in a healthy environment. As with all species on earth, some are going to be lost despite our best efforts. But it's not too late to make a very big difference.I'm Jim Metzner, and this is the Pulse of the Planet.